Monday, January 31, 2011

Painting never ends

It was my mission to finish painting this weekend. Had I liked the paint color, I would have been done, but it is simply never that easy for me. I started with a very blue room.

Then I painted the bottom of the room white (the board and batten portion of the walls).

I thought I was going to cry when I painted on the 4th coat of paint. It seemed like the blue simply did not want to be covered up. All that painting of white to discover that it was way too bright for me. They only sold ultra pure white at Home Depot (I prefer Behr paint). Needless to say, taking out a pair of shades to enter a room is a no no in my book so I went on down to Lowe's for them to color match my molding which had a hint of gray in it. However, before I drove down to the store, I painted the top portion of the walls a grayish blue color.

It was way too dark for the space and a little too mature for a kids room.

You know what that means. I ended up repainting the walls a khaki color.

So you are asking, "what's up with the three colors???" Originally, I was going to try to save some money and have the board and battan stop at 4 feet tall. Since it comes in 8 feet lengths, I could maximize the wood. However, I don't like the look at all so I am going back to my original height of 5.5 feet for the battan height.

Therefore, I didn't have to repaint the entire blue portion.

I will repaint the white with my mixed color, but that will have to wait till next weekend. My poor walls have 7 coats of paint on them already. Isn't that crazy? If at first you hate the color, paint, paint, and paint again!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Grateful Wishes

Have you ever received something that made you stop and think about how lucky you are? Yes, I am turning a year older this week and it never fails that despite the fact that I never really mention the day to anyone in my family or any of my friends (because growing up, birthdays were just another day in the year), it ceases to amaze me how many of my friends remember a day that I don't really think about.

I've been getting a lot of calls and great wishes already. Everyone has been asking me what I want for my birthday and I have been telling them different things. I tell my children the only thing I want is a simple card. I told my husband I want a day of him doing all the house work (yeah right...I've been asking for that one for a few years now and he still hasn't delivered (Merry Maids doesn't count)). In the end, the only things that I really want can't be wrapped.

Today I received a package in the mail from a VERY old friend, someone I worked with back in high school. It has been 16 years since I last worked for her and nearly that long since I last saw her. Despite hard economic times, she gave me a monetary gift, something that she probably needs a lot more than I. Has anyone ever given you something that they needed more than you? I was so touched by that gift and letter she wrote me that I started to swell up with tears. Having someone you haven't talked to in over a decade remember you, and also spend the time to remind you how special you are to them made me feel so blessed.

I don't know what I did for all the blessings that I have in my life. I really can't ask for a better birthday gift than the wealth of love and friendship that I have thus received. This posting is a special thank you to everyone in my life that reminds me that my birthday isn't just another day. Thank you so much for being a part of my life and making me feel so special.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Project

My birthday is coming up soon and what do I want? I want to redo R.'s room again. It's been half done for while now since I painted it his favorite color blue. Two years ago, it looked like this.

Excuse the mess. We were putting away Christmas decorations at the time. Since then, I painted it a very bold blue. It's actually a little darker than this picture has it, but it is still a very strong color.

I've been walking around hardware stores every day this week for a little research and decided to actually start the board and battan idea I had eons ago. You can read about it here.

I bought paint yesterday. Fortunately for me, there was a sale. I got a gallon of VOC (volatile organic compound) paint for only $10. I know, the name sounds a little scary, but it is just paint that is made from earth friendly products like soybean so it non-toxic and it doesn't smell! I'm excited to try it out and with the $24 price discount, it was too good to not go for it.

My goal is to have at least the bottom wall painted white before my birthday. Wish me luck. If I get the entire project done (just the board and battan part of it) by Saturday, it will be a miracle, but it will definitely be a great birthday gift. My next goal is to build R. a new bed since the sleigh bed is a little too "old" for his room. I can't wait to get this project started.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A morning surprise

When I was working full-time, I never made my bed during the week, despite the fact that I love going to sleep in a made bed. The reason being was that I woke up at the crack of dawn and left for work even before my hubby woke up.

Now that I take the kiddos to school in the morning, there is plenty of time to make my bed. I walked into my room one morning and noticed a little bump after I had straightened my sheets. Can you see the little bump in the middle.

When I went to straighten it out, this is what I discovered.

Cute or what? Although A. was dressed to go to school, he wasn't ready so he climbed into my bed for some additional morning sleep. I didn't have the heart to wake him up and didn't need to since he got up on his own 10 minutes later. Thank goodness.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Museums On Us Program

Sorry for my lack of entries lately. I've been in a creative funk. I have the ideas, but I've been lacking the motivation. Working part time has definitely spoiled me with extra time with my kiddos and I've been taking full advantage of that.

If you are a Bank of America customer, you can get free admission to participating museums on the first full weekend of every month. You just have to present your Bank of America debit or credit card and admission is FREE.

Click here to find a museum near you. I will definitely be taking advantage of this. That's just another excuse for me to spend time with my kiddos.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beef Stew

Working part time has enabled me to cook even more so than I normally do. In the grocery store, I have been wondering the aisles for new things to cook and I found this beef stew packet that I decided to try. I grew up on Vietnamese style beef stew and loved it.

The prep work took awhile.

However, it turned out really great and surprisingly no bribery was necessary. Everyone ate their vegetables willingly.

What was even better was eating it the next day after letting the broth marinate the veggies even more so. It was definitely a perfect meal for a cold winter day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New desk for E.

I would be the first in my family to say that we don't really need any more furniture in our house, at least without removing some of the pieces I no longer like. However, I saw this desk and I fell in love. When I pointed it out to my hubby, the first thing he said was that he was just about to come tell me that he thought we should get it for E.'s room.

We looked at the price tag and couldn't resist. E. had a table and a couple of chairs already in his room, but we figured this would take up a little less space. Red is his favorite color so he was thrilled to have it. The best part about this desk was that it was fully assembled. The only thing I had to do was take apart the box it came in. I love quality furniture. No tools required which also means it will probably last for quite some time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our First Snow of the Year

It started out as a dark rainy Sunday morning (the kind where you just want to lay in bed all day) and by noon, we received our first snowy day. I'll run out and take some house pictures a little later when there is more ground cover, but right now, this is what I see out of my office window.

I love the white ground. I can't wait to take the kids out to build a snow man later.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Legos Legos Legos

My sons are very much into two things, video games and Legos. I decided to ban all electronics one weekend to spend more time together. What did the kids want to do? They wanted build one lego set after the next. Ethan decided to work on his Harry Potter Castle non-stop until it was finished.

I love this set!

It has so many creative pieces.

He's been playing with this set every night for a week. Since he is into Legos so much this year, I've decided to throw him a Lego themed birthday party. I am super excited and call me crazy (because his birthday is 5 months away), but I have already started planning it.

New cabinet for the Island

When we came home from our trip to Disney World, my parents had surprised us with a visit. When my mom and dad come over, that means two things. I get A LOT of food from my mom and a lot of knowledge and creativity from my dad. As we stood around the kitchen island, my dad noticed all my junk mail piling up and suggested I make a magazine/mail rack for some organization. Usually, when I have guests, all my mail stays in my office.

As he stood there contemplating how he would create my magazine and mail rack. I told him what I really regretted was not building out our center island. The counter overhangs for counter-high bar stools. I did buy some bar stools there, but they were always in the way and since we already had bar-high stools on the other side of second kitchen island, there was no need for that additional seating. What I did need was much needed storage so that I could clear up my counters of my appliances I don't use frequently.

With that, my dad, a super creative genius drew up some plans to build out my counter and make it match my existing cabinets. We spent two days building or shall I say, he built, and I watched and learned.

Here is a picture of the cabinet in progress.

There will be cabinet doors that cover the shelves and some angled shelves on the right. I won't attach the doors until I get a chance to stain it it first so that I don't have to worry about the hardware getting stained. I've ordered the stain, but it hasn't come in yet. Since our original cabinets were stained by professionals, I had to track down their supplier to get the exact stain. Good thing, I made them write down the formula for me years ago when they came by to do some touch ups. The only bad thing is that the stain will cost me nearly the price of the cabinet.

I'll post info on how we made this cabinet and the finished product when it is all done. I'm so excited! This project rejuvenated me into starting some other projects that I been wanting to do, but that I had no idea how to do. I learned out the rip, dado and notch out wood. I learned how to use the table saw I bought and I learned how to use the router with this project. THANKS DAD!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Did everyone have a wonderful holiday? This Christmas we decided to take a trip to Florida so we celebrated Christmas a few days early at home with family.

The kids were ecstatic that Santa came early this year!

Aren't they adorable in their pjs? R. was a little camera shy.

We were off to Mickey's hometown the next day. It was crazy to plan a last minute vacation only 2 weeks before leaving, but it was worth it.

It was a beautiful Christmas morning at Magic Kingdom.

One of E.'s favorite rides.

Oh, no! Help!

A.'s favorite Toy Story character...the evil Doctor Pork Chops!

The only photo where all the kids were willing to stand together (with out us).

E. wouldn't let me take a picture of him standing with the Pluto hat because apparently Pluto doesn't stand on his two feet.

The weather was freezing the rest of the vacation and we did a lot of shivering, but we had such a great time. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas as well.

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